Monday 6 April 2015

My North East Story: Life in Geordieland

This month's North East Story comes from local blogger Rachel who writes the official Newcastle/Gateshead blog Life in Geordieland.  Rachel's blog is a wonderful portrait of life in the North East, so much so she won a North East Blogger Award last year for "Best North East Travel Blog".   Rachel first got into blogging when she became Visit England's "Fan in a Van", travelling across the country in Rosie, the camper van.

What is your North East Story?

I'm originally from a place called Rochdale in Greater Manchester but I moved to the North East when I was 18 (15 years ago, eeek!!). I studied at the University of Sunderland where I made some amazing life long friends and managed to some how get myself a couple of degrees. I had a great time in Sunderland and have very fond memories of uni life but it was Newcastle that really made me fall in love with the North East. I met a Geordie called James at the Cluny in Byker, he was (and still is) my dream man! I also landed my dream job at Metro Radio in the city centre and have spent the last ten years calling Newcastle my home. I absolutely love it here and like to think of myself as an honorary Geordie.

Why do you love living in the North East?

I think it's a combination of things… the nightlife, the culture, the people, the affordability, the countryside, the coast, the fact my gorgeous man is from here. It's hard to describe but the North East is a very special place, it's unique, it has soul! I feel like I'm rambling now but you get the idea! 

Where's your favourite place in the North East to relax?

I feel like I can really unwind when I'm at the Northumberland coast. Druridge Bay and Bamburgh Beach are particularly  beautiful and they seem to have a calming influence on me. They're hardly hidden gems but you can often be lucky enough to get a whole stretch of unspoilt beach to yourself!

Recommend some yummy foodie places in the North East.

Ooooh, this is hard as the North East is bursting with wonderful places to eat but here are four of my faves:

The Grainger Market - This Grade 1 listed market has been at the heart of Newcastle since the Victorian era and it's one of my favourite places to grab lunch. It's packed with award winning independents, Pumphrey's offer 'the UK's best cappuccino' and French Oven recently won 'England and Wales' best bakery'. You can also indulge in fresh oysters, pizza by the slice, home made cakes, amazing crepes and loads more! (OK, I'm drooling now!)

The Herb Garden - I love this independent pizza place in the city centre, it's easy to spot as there's a gold horse wearing roller skates by the door! The interior decor is just as quirky featuring a wall of hydroponics where the restaurant's head gardener grows herbs and salads, but most importantly, the food is absolutely delicious!

Kafe Neon - I go to this Greek inspired cafe on the Bigg Market at least a couple of times a month and simply can't resist their home made tzatziki! No matter what I order I always ask for a big dollop of the scrumptious dip on the side.

 Vallum Farm - This David Kennedy restaurant is a little bit off the beaten track, about 25 minutes from Newcastle on the A69 but it's a wonderful place for Sunday lunch and worth the drive just for the sticky toffee pudding alone… seriously the BEST I’ve ever had!!

Describe your perfect day in the North East.

I'd wake up in a cosy coastal retreat and eat breakfast overlooking the sea. Next I'd hit the shops in Newcastle city centre, I love Fenwicks and can easily spend a whole day in there. After doing some severe damage to the credit card I'd head to Savannah Salon and Spa in Old Eldon Garden for some much needed pampering before enjoying a few cocktails at the Botanist. I'd probably be starving by then so would make my way to one of the restaurants mentioned above. I'd end my perfect day with a gig at the Sage Gateshead or Newcastle City Hall, in an ideal world Stevie Wonder be performing… OK I may have got a bit carried away now but it does sound good doesn't it?

If you want to share your North East story please do get in touch:


  1. Lovely story Rachel - I love how much you love the North East and your passion always shines through :D That sticky toffee pudding looks AMAZING!

  2. geordieland has some fantastic places to go and see , i actually chose it to spend my anniversary in x

  3. I just came across your blog and I love it! Travel-themed posts like this are probably the best out of all, if I had to choose.

    I don't know if I missed it but what camera did you use? The quality is fab!

    Little Moon Elephant

  4. Great post Rachel the beach is beautiful I can see how it helps you relax Lucy

  5. Thanks for sharing my North East story Chloe, even as a blogger I always find it weird reading about myself but whenever I'm asked about the North East I just can't shut up! X

  6. Great story Rachel, great post Chloe. I'd love to be involved with this feature one day!


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